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Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

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A wickedly witty field guide to bookstore customers from the Person Who Doesn't Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) to the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare. It does take all kinds. If you visit bookshops more often than the grocery store, you'll recognize the types. There's the Expert (with subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person A wickedly witty field guide to bookstore customers from the Person Who Doesn't Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) to the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare. It does take all kinds. If you visit bookshops more often than the grocery store, you'll recognize the types. There's the Expert (with subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman). Then there's the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter), and the Family Historian (generally Americans who come to Shaun's shop in Wigtown, Scotland). Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer -- all from Shaun Bythell (author of Confessions of a Bookseller), the funniest sell-and-tell observer in the house of books. This is the perfect read for anyone who ever felt a bookstore was home. You've been spotted! Or have you?


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A wickedly witty field guide to bookstore customers from the Person Who Doesn't Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) to the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare. It does take all kinds. If you visit bookshops more often than the grocery store, you'll recognize the types. There's the Expert (with subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person A wickedly witty field guide to bookstore customers from the Person Who Doesn't Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) to the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare. It does take all kinds. If you visit bookshops more often than the grocery store, you'll recognize the types. There's the Expert (with subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman). Then there's the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter), and the Family Historian (generally Americans who come to Shaun's shop in Wigtown, Scotland). Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer -- all from Shaun Bythell (author of Confessions of a Bookseller), the funniest sell-and-tell observer in the house of books. This is the perfect read for anyone who ever felt a bookstore was home. You've been spotted! Or have you?

30 review for Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review. A short introduction to the seven(ish) kinds of people you often meet in bookshops. From the bearded pensioner to the insistent whistler, Shaun Bythell covers them all. This had the potential to be a little mean spirited, however Bythell has a certain type of humour that lends itself well to self depicting as well as generally just making fun of human behaviour and it's various quirks. He exudes a fondness for his customers while in the same breathe ARC received in exchange for an honest review. A short introduction to the seven(ish) kinds of people you often meet in bookshops. From the bearded pensioner to the insistent whistler, Shaun Bythell covers them all. This had the potential to be a little mean spirited, however Bythell has a certain type of humour that lends itself well to self depicting as well as generally just making fun of human behaviour and it's various quirks. He exudes a fondness for his customers while in the same breathe lamenting their existence. I also love that Shaun drops in little gems of information on literature and the book buying world. It's such an interesting, highly niche market with such an eclectic set of clientele. I just wanted more, and this is why I can't rate this any higher. His previous books have delved a lot deeper into Shaun's life, his friendships and colleagues on top of these customers and I guess I wanted more of that. Short and sweet, this would be a good introduction to Bythell's writing, but do check out The Diary of a Bookseller too for more of an in-depth look into this utterly fascinating line of work.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Cheerfully colored and sized to fit into a Christmas stocking, this is a fun follow-up to Bythell’s accounts of life at The Book Shop in Wigtown, The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller. Within his seven categories are multiple subcategories, all given tongue-in-cheek Latin names as if naming species. When I saw him chat with Lee Randall at the opening event of the Wigtown Book Festival, he introduced a few, such as the autodidact who knows more than you and will tell you all a Cheerfully colored and sized to fit into a Christmas stocking, this is a fun follow-up to Bythell’s accounts of life at The Book Shop in Wigtown, The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller. Within his seven categories are multiple subcategories, all given tongue-in-cheek Latin names as if naming species. When I saw him chat with Lee Randall at the opening event of the Wigtown Book Festival, he introduced a few, such as the autodidact who knows more than you and will tell you all about their pet subject (the Homo odiosus, or bore). This is not the same, though, as the expert who shares genuinely useful knowledge – of a rare cover version on a crime paperback, for instance (Homo utilis, a helpful person). There’s also the occultists, the erotica browsers, the local historians, the self-published authors, the bearded pensioners (Senex cum barba) holidaying in their caravans, and the young families – now that he has one of his own, he’s become a bit more tolerant. Setting aside the good-natured complaints, who are his favorite customers? Those who revel in the love of books and don’t quibble about the cost. Generally, these are not antiquarian book experts looking for a bargain, but everyday shoppers who keep a low-key collection of fiction or maybe specifically sci-fi and graphic novels, which fly off the shelves for good prices. So which type am I? Well, occasionally I’m a farter (Crepans), but you won’t hold that against me, will you? I’d like to think I fit squarely into the normal people category (Homines normales) when I visited Wigtown in April 2018: we went in not knowing what we wanted but ended up purchasing a decent stack and even had a pleasant conversation with the man himself at the till – he’s much less of a curmudgeon in person than in his books. I do recommend this to those who have read and loved his other work. Originally published on my blog, Bookish Beck.

  3. 4 out of 5

    teleri llinos

    Eh. The author came off as a little self-centered, especially towards the end when he compared himself to hipsters. Just let people enjoy whatever they want as long as it’s not hurting anybody, and last time I checked wearing tweed and having a beard doesn’t. The book also felt like it went on forever despite being under one hundred and fifty pages. I kept expecting the chapters to end and nope, here’s another entry, whoops, and another, oh! and another. Finally, I finished it and it wasn’t that Eh. The author came off as a little self-centered, especially towards the end when he compared himself to hipsters. Just let people enjoy whatever they want as long as it’s not hurting anybody, and last time I checked wearing tweed and having a beard doesn’t. The book also felt like it went on forever despite being under one hundred and fifty pages. I kept expecting the chapters to end and nope, here’s another entry, whoops, and another, oh! and another. Finally, I finished it and it wasn’t that great. >I received an ebook of this from NetGalley, in return for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vesna

    I don't understand how anyone can rate this book with less than 5 stars unless s/he recognized him/her-self in one of the species categories of Bythell's hilarious Linnaeus classification of bookshop visitors (not all of whom necessarily buy or even read books :-)) and has a very thin skin. What a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. We laughed and laughed, and by the time we reached the last Genus/type, it was like "Oh, no, this is going to end!" One of the funniest books, ha I don't understand how anyone can rate this book with less than 5 stars unless s/he recognized him/her-self in one of the species categories of Bythell's hilarious Linnaeus classification of bookshop visitors (not all of whom necessarily buy or even read books :-)) and has a very thin skin. What a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. We laughed and laughed, and by the time we reached the last Genus/type, it was like "Oh, no, this is going to end!" One of the funniest books, hands down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Auntie Terror

    I think I need bingo cards to accompany this book. x-D [rtc]

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Shaun Bythell returns with another charming and amusing third book in the Bookshop series and is an exploration of those who frequent his bookshop. From behind the counter, Shaun Bythell catalogs the customers who roam his shop in Wigtown, Scotland. There’s the Expert (divided into subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman). Then there's the Loiterer (including the Erotic Shaun Bythell returns with another charming and amusing third book in the Bookshop series and is an exploration of those who frequent his bookshop. From behind the counter, Shaun Bythell catalogs the customers who roam his shop in Wigtown, Scotland. There’s the Expert (divided into subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman). Then there's the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), and the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter). Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer―all add up to one of the funniest book about books you’ll ever find. Shaun Bythell’s unique observational eye and dry wit make this perfect for anyone who loves bookshops―including all the kinds of the people you meet inside. It is a delightful, engaging and fascinating book, which all bibliophiles should thoroughly enjoy. The anecdotes kept me entertained throughout and it's written in such a way that you fly through the pages. Wigtown isn't too far from me and this has prompted me to want to visit the shop. A safe space for book lovers from all walks of life, Bythell is a sharp observer of those he meets. It's an interesting look at the life and trials and tribulations of a second hand bookshop proprietor, and I loved that his passion for what he does shines through in his writing. Many thanks to Profile Books for an ARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Mae

    It’s very satisfying to know that even though I worked in a chain bookstore and now a series of public libraries, the same kinds of people walk into my places of business as in a secondhand bookshop in Scotland. This was absolutely spot on and a real treat to read. If you are a fan of the bookstore, and even better a fan of Black Books, make sure you read this one!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    Definitely a cash grab. It's very short and incredibly meandering, all filler. Unlike the other books by Bythell (his diaries) I struggled to find humour and wit here. Definitely a cash grab. It's very short and incredibly meandering, all filler. Unlike the other books by Bythell (his diaries) I struggled to find humour and wit here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anne Wright

    This was a quick and easy read. One for in the car, keeping me company whilst waiting for the kids to come out of various after school clubs. I was so worried I would find my "type" in the list of people found in bookshops. I don't think I was there. Maybe I was. I am a bit worried now. The next time I go into a bookshop, I am definitely taking this book as a guide and doing a bit of people watching This was a quick and easy read. One for in the car, keeping me company whilst waiting for the kids to come out of various after school clubs. I was so worried I would find my "type" in the list of people found in bookshops. I don't think I was there. Maybe I was. I am a bit worried now. The next time I go into a bookshop, I am definitely taking this book as a guide and doing a bit of people watching

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops is a short book, not quite 150 pages long, from Scotland’s best known bookseller Shaun Bythell, author of the popular titles The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller. Bythell opines there are seven kinds of customers that frequent his second hand bookstore, each of which he labels with a Latin genus, and then breaks down into species. He is careful to admit these are none too generous stereotypes, generalisations that contain a core of Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops is a short book, not quite 150 pages long, from Scotland’s best known bookseller Shaun Bythell, author of the popular titles The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller. Bythell opines there are seven kinds of customers that frequent his second hand bookstore, each of which he labels with a Latin genus, and then breaks down into species. He is careful to admit these are none too generous stereotypes, generalisations that contain a core of truth but lack nuance. His tongue in cheek taxonomy includes the Genus: Peritus Species: Homo Odiosus capable of lengthy lectures on subjects he (often wrongly) believes he is an expert in, and which tend to offend; the Genus: Homo qui desidet Species: Homo Qui Opera Erotica Legit (Erotica Browser) who seem to be intent on an innocuous book which is later revealed to have been ‘recovered’; and Genus: Viator non tacitus which includes Species that whistle, sniff, hum, fart, and tutter. Bythell’s acerbic sense of humour borders on the supercilious at times, but I think anyone who has worked in retail will relate somewhat. Booklovers will hope that they fit in none of these seven categories and instead are of the rare ‘Bonus’ Genus: Cliens perfectus (Perfect Customer). A quick easy read, Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops would be a nice holiday gift for fans of Bythell, or bookstores.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eule Luftschloss

    This is the third book by Shaun I read, and he still makes me laugh with his dry humor. In this book, you'll find exactly what it says on the tin: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops, based on the author's own observations in his second hand bookstore in Wigtown. With a bonus chapter including an eigth kind, because apparently the book grew by itself even after the press releases had been out. If you're into weird things that happen in bookstores, this one is for you. Same goes for Diary This is the third book by Shaun I read, and he still makes me laugh with his dry humor. In this book, you'll find exactly what it says on the tin: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops, based on the author's own observations in his second hand bookstore in Wigtown. With a bonus chapter including an eigth kind, because apparently the book grew by itself even after the press releases had been out. If you're into weird things that happen in bookstores, this one is for you. Same goes for Diary and Confessions of a Bookseller, aforementioned other works by the same author. I had fun, and now I have my own physical copy so I can have fun with this again. The arc was provided by the publisher.

  12. 4 out of 5

    sassafrass

    as someone who works in a bookshop (chain, not indie) this is frighteningly accurate in places. however some parts were so jarringly against my experience i had to drop the star. the one that stood out to me the most was the author lovingly painting all sci-fi/graphic novel fans as the ideal customer. considering this demographic is famous for its militant gatekeeping i think the writer may perhaps have found the only nice group out there. not to say there ARENT perfectly pleasant people into sc as someone who works in a bookshop (chain, not indie) this is frighteningly accurate in places. however some parts were so jarringly against my experience i had to drop the star. the one that stood out to me the most was the author lovingly painting all sci-fi/graphic novel fans as the ideal customer. considering this demographic is famous for its militant gatekeeping i think the writer may perhaps have found the only nice group out there. not to say there ARENT perfectly pleasant people into sci-fi and graphic novels, but it really is a split of 'this person genuinely just wants to share their passion' and 'oh no i am now the workshop audience for their hard right podcast.' again, i work in a bookshop, i am speaking from terrible experience.

  13. 5 out of 5

    TraceyL

    I'm wavering between giving this book a 3 and a 4 star, but I think I'm giving it a 4 because it made me feel and warm and cozy and happy. It's a bookstore owner talking about the annoying (and great) customers that he often deals with. It was very atmospheric for a non-fiction book. I absolutely believed that I was in his store and could see the customers he was talking about. I will read more from this author. I'm wavering between giving this book a 3 and a 4 star, but I think I'm giving it a 4 because it made me feel and warm and cozy and happy. It's a bookstore owner talking about the annoying (and great) customers that he often deals with. It was very atmospheric for a non-fiction book. I absolutely believed that I was in his store and could see the customers he was talking about. I will read more from this author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    'Seven Kinds Of People You Find In Bookshops' is a short book that does exactly what the title tells you, it gives you an indepth insight into seven different kinds of people you find in bookshops. This book was a quick, fast read (it is only 100 pages) and so I did read it very quickly. However, this book did not make me laugh or smile at all, which I thought it would do. It was very interesting to see what the author's opinions of these kinds of people were but most of the book was very negati 'Seven Kinds Of People You Find In Bookshops' is a short book that does exactly what the title tells you, it gives you an indepth insight into seven different kinds of people you find in bookshops. This book was a quick, fast read (it is only 100 pages) and so I did read it very quickly. However, this book did not make me laugh or smile at all, which I thought it would do. It was very interesting to see what the author's opinions of these kinds of people were but most of the book was very negative towards these people and sometimes I found myself getting a bit bored and skimming some of the pages. If you're looking for a quick read or enjoyed the authors other books, then pick this book up. I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy this book. Thank you to Serpent's Tail/Profile Books for providing me with an advance copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange  for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I really wanted to like this one. The first few ‘chapters’ were amusing but before long the book just started to feel like the bitter ramblings of a struggling second hand book store owner. A shame as his first book is said to be very good. I enjoyed parts of it and as I said, some of it is quite funny but this is overshadowed. This seems to have been written to capitalise on the success of his first and timed to be a stocking filler for the Christmas market. A shame.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emma Hardy

    Sadly this didn't work for me at all. Came across obnoxious and mean spirited, maybe just not my sense of humour. Tried to keep going, but even this short book couldn't keep me interested. Sadly this didn't work for me at all. Came across obnoxious and mean spirited, maybe just not my sense of humour. Tried to keep going, but even this short book couldn't keep me interested.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    This short volume is little more than a novelty title, and I wanted/expected to love it! I'm a fan of Mr. Bythell's Diary of a Bookseller. And while my tenure is not as long as his, I do have several years experience as a full-time professional bookseller under my belt. I can absolutely empathize with his curmudgeonlyness. (Why isn't that a word??) As I read his classifications and sub-classifications of customers and others, I frequently smiled to myself, knowing exactly who he was talking about This short volume is little more than a novelty title, and I wanted/expected to love it! I'm a fan of Mr. Bythell's Diary of a Bookseller. And while my tenure is not as long as his, I do have several years experience as a full-time professional bookseller under my belt. I can absolutely empathize with his curmudgeonlyness. (Why isn't that a word??) As I read his classifications and sub-classifications of customers and others, I frequently smiled to myself, knowing exactly who he was talking about. But here's the thing... So many of his observations were just mean spirited, bordering on the cruel. He can be very amusing, frequently is. This level of meanness seemed unnecessary. Customers are the best and worst thing about bookselling. And now that I am currently unemployed, I really, really miss my bookstore community. I look forward to some bitter day in the future, when after a terrible day at the store Bythell's observations sooth me. But for now, I'm very grateful I see more good than bad in the people I served.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    If you’ve never read a book by Shaun Bythell, don’t start with Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops. If I weren’t such a fan of Shaun, I would never have read it. I would be willing to accuse him of creating a small book purely as a holiday money-grab. But he has the nicest introduction in this book where he explains how hard Covid has hit booksellers and how difficult it is to remain in business, and I feel all my complaints drifting away. So, if you are a fan, go ahead and buy it. The b If you’ve never read a book by Shaun Bythell, don’t start with Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops. If I weren’t such a fan of Shaun, I would never have read it. I would be willing to accuse him of creating a small book purely as a holiday money-grab. But he has the nicest introduction in this book where he explains how hard Covid has hit booksellers and how difficult it is to remain in business, and I feel all my complaints drifting away. So, if you are a fan, go ahead and buy it. The book is exactly what the title states. If you aren’t a fan, do yourself a favor and read The Diary of a Bookseller or Confessions of a Bookseller. I laughed and laughed as I read about his battles with customers, employees, and online sales. I’m hoping that he will write another synopsis of a year in bookshop sales if Covid ever goes away and he can once again open his shop.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kaffeeklatsch and Books

    This was an entertaining albeit very sarcastic view of what kind of people you'll find in bookshops. You could also easily read this if you're having to do with customers in general as you'll see the same sort of behavior. There are lots of anecdotes and analyses about human behavior sprinkled with humorous elements that made me chuckle a few times. It wasn't the greatest thing ever written, but I can still recommend this to any book lover. Thanks Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest rev This was an entertaining albeit very sarcastic view of what kind of people you'll find in bookshops. You could also easily read this if you're having to do with customers in general as you'll see the same sort of behavior. There are lots of anecdotes and analyses about human behavior sprinkled with humorous elements that made me chuckle a few times. It wasn't the greatest thing ever written, but I can still recommend this to any book lover. Thanks Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (bookmadbarlow)

    A tongue in cheek book about the people found in second hand bookshops from the experiences of the author. This would make a great stocking filler for any avid book lover and was quick and fun to read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Justin Wiggins

    Parts of this book were moving, funny as hell, moving, and reminded me of very good memories of working at Books A Million, Barnes and Noble, browsing around favorite bookstores here in the mountains of North Carolina, and in Oxford, England. After I finished this, I found myself even more thankful for bibliophiles, and second hand bookshops.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Having worked in a high street book retailer in the 90s I can safely say these customer types rang true even back then, bar maybe the hipster! He has a great turn of phrase and hopefully his regulars will still visit, even if they recognise themselves as one of the customer types. Perfect Christmas present for anyone remotely interested in books and the people who buy them (or not as in a few cases, but you'll need to read this book to find out what sort of person that is). Having worked in a high street book retailer in the 90s I can safely say these customer types rang true even back then, bar maybe the hipster! He has a great turn of phrase and hopefully his regulars will still visit, even if they recognise themselves as one of the customer types. Perfect Christmas present for anyone remotely interested in books and the people who buy them (or not as in a few cases, but you'll need to read this book to find out what sort of person that is).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Jones

    *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I love Shaun Bythell as an author. If you love books and bookshops, his books are a must read. This one is a little different in that it isn’t in the diary format of his two other publications, and instead lists the different types of people you find in bookshops (as the title would suggest), giving descriptions, stories and anecdotes about each one in turn. As someone who worked in a bookshop through my fi *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I love Shaun Bythell as an author. If you love books and bookshops, his books are a must read. This one is a little different in that it isn’t in the diary format of his two other publications, and instead lists the different types of people you find in bookshops (as the title would suggest), giving descriptions, stories and anecdotes about each one in turn. As someone who worked in a bookshop through my final year of university, even though it was a chain bookstore, I recognised many of these characters. Shaun’s observations about his customers and staff are always honest and hilarious, a breath of fresh air if you’re looking for your next non-fiction read. This book was clearly written during the Covid-19 pandemic and aspects of the lockdown make an appearance in the book. The book on the whole demonstrates the importance of second-hand bookshops, independent businesses of all kinds, and the consumers’ decisions that really affect people’s lives and livelihoods. I really enjoyed this book and though serves a different purpose to his other books, I would still recommend this to any book lover. This would make a particularly good gift! 4 out of 5 stars!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Well, actually Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops is about nine kinds of people because Shaun tacked on two bonus sections at the end: Staff and Perfect Customer (Postscript). And each kind of people is broken out in to sub-categories so this book is really about many kinds of people you find in bookshops. I read Bythell's first book, The Diary of a Bookseller, which I enjoyed and I might have liked this shorter companion book a tad better. Some chapters were hilarious, like the Occulti Well, actually Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops is about nine kinds of people because Shaun tacked on two bonus sections at the end: Staff and Perfect Customer (Postscript). And each kind of people is broken out in to sub-categories so this book is really about many kinds of people you find in bookshops. I read Bythell's first book, The Diary of a Bookseller, which I enjoyed and I might have liked this shorter companion book a tad better. Some chapters were hilarious, like the Occultists, and the Family Historian (often American travelers fascinated with genealogy which the author thinks is ridiculous), and some were relatable like the Young Family (although I could not relate to the negativity shown towards his own young family) and the commentary about the sci-fi fan in the Postscript. I listened to this in Audible and I don't think the narrator was a good fit for this book. Overall, though, this as a fun, short, listen and I laughed often. I think any bookstore fan or librarian will be able to relate to Bythell's observations. 3.5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Once again I was amused by a Shaun Bythell book. I this latest one, he talks about and categorizes the types of people that visit book shops. Of course, as he is the owner of a used book shop he can speak from great experience. I was worried that this could be a cruel observation of some of his customers. However, this was not the case. Mr. Bythell devotes a short chapter to each category with examples of the various types of patrons. The telling is witty, honest and sincere. When I was a teenage Once again I was amused by a Shaun Bythell book. I this latest one, he talks about and categorizes the types of people that visit book shops. Of course, as he is the owner of a used book shop he can speak from great experience. I was worried that this could be a cruel observation of some of his customers. However, this was not the case. Mr. Bythell devotes a short chapter to each category with examples of the various types of patrons. The telling is witty, honest and sincere. When I was a teenager I had a part time job in a Coles book store (not used books) and I was often amazed by some of our customers and their questions and attitudes. This book made me remember some of our more colourful customers. I heartily recommend this book! It was perfect for bedtime.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nathalie (keepreadingbooks)

    I know some consider Bythell too snarky and rude, but I enjoy his writing a lot. Much of this book is written with a subtle kind of fondness, though it may not look like it at first glance - like how sick he is of working in the second-hand bookshop business. I think there can be no doubt that he loves being part of this world, in his own weird, mocking way (as the section with the perfect customer and several of the 'subspecies' show well enough). This was a fun take on customer descriptions. B I know some consider Bythell too snarky and rude, but I enjoy his writing a lot. Much of this book is written with a subtle kind of fondness, though it may not look like it at first glance - like how sick he is of working in the second-hand bookshop business. I think there can be no doubt that he loves being part of this world, in his own weird, mocking way (as the section with the perfect customer and several of the 'subspecies' show well enough). This was a fun take on customer descriptions. Being myself a sucker for the natural sciences, I adored how he decided to divide them into genuses and subspecies. The book is small and it's got no deeper meaning, but I found it cosy and entertaining and the perfect comfort-read in a busy and stressful time. /NK

  27. 5 out of 5

    Louise Culmer

    Shaun Bythell describes the various kinds of customers to be found in an antiquarian bookshop. He doesn’t like most of them, and disapproves strongly of anyone interested in a subject he doesn’t care for (which seems to be most things). An odd attitude for a bookseller, who surely expects to stock books on a wide variety of subjects. The strangest part is where he expresses dislike of some customers wh0 buy books that have been in the shop for a long time and are (according to him) underpriced. Shaun Bythell describes the various kinds of customers to be found in an antiquarian bookshop. He doesn’t like most of them, and disapproves strongly of anyone interested in a subject he doesn’t care for (which seems to be most things). An odd attitude for a bookseller, who surely expects to stock books on a wide variety of subjects. The strangest part is where he expresses dislike of some customers wh0 buy books that have been in the shop for a long time and are (according to him) underpriced. Surely it was up to him to put the prices up? Does he expect the customers to volunteer to pay more? Altogether I found this book very strange.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bec

    Shaun Bythell, is one hell of a human. With over 20 years selling books Shaun portrays someone of his shop regulars. Shauns had them all. The good the bad and the ugly. I stupidly read the title for this book and got so trigger happy that I requested it on NetGalley before reading the synopsis. Personally this one wasn’t for me. I found the writing to be whitty yet extremely arrogant. If it was any longer I would have DNF this book. Please don’t let my opinion of this book stop you from reading it Shaun Bythell, is one hell of a human. With over 20 years selling books Shaun portrays someone of his shop regulars. Shauns had them all. The good the bad and the ugly. I stupidly read the title for this book and got so trigger happy that I requested it on NetGalley before reading the synopsis. Personally this one wasn’t for me. I found the writing to be whitty yet extremely arrogant. If it was any longer I would have DNF this book. Please don’t let my opinion of this book stop you from reading it if it’s your kind of book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    A very entertaining book for booklovers, and especially to lovers of bookshops and even more for lovers of second-hand bookshops...and as I am all three of them, I felt very entertained ! It is a bit of a manual for the two other books Shaun has written who are more entertaining and more lively, but this little book is funny, well written and well observed: and as Charlotte Jones wrote in her review: the perfect gift. It is funny and entertaining, and once given maybe the receiver will think the A very entertaining book for booklovers, and especially to lovers of bookshops and even more for lovers of second-hand bookshops...and as I am all three of them, I felt very entertained ! It is a bit of a manual for the two other books Shaun has written who are more entertaining and more lively, but this little book is funny, well written and well observed: and as Charlotte Jones wrote in her review: the perfect gift. It is funny and entertaining, and once given maybe the receiver will think the same of you, and that's a bonus.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah5

    I really enjoyed the ‘Diary of a bookseller’ so was excited to read this review copy. However, this was a bit of a disappointing read, the format was quite repetitive and it was also very short. Some humorous anecdotes along the way though and an easy read for an Autumnal evening.

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